- In its first and second meetings with Cleveland this season, Miami won by 24 and 25 points, respectively.
Here are Three at 3's favorite plays for Friday's action.
1. Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic (-3.5)
7:00 pm ET
Orlando hasn't been at the top of its game lately, now having lost four of its last five games after a 114-110 loss in Brooklyn on Wednesday night (ORL +5). The Magic have been competitive, though, suffering three of those four losses by five points or fewer, and going 2-2-1 against the spread over that stretch. Plus, it was less than two weeks ago when they upset the Celtics and Rockets in the same weekend.
They'll have a solid opportunity to get back on track on Friday against a Washington team that expended tons of energy in a 126-118 home loss to the Warriors last night. As the score suggests, the game was played at a breakneck pace, and key Wizards starters Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza and Tomas Satoransky all logged at least 39 minutes in the defeat. While Washington is 5-2 both straight up and against the spread on the second leg of back-to-backs this season, they're only 1-2 SU and ATS when those second legs are played on the road. Plus, the last time they won on zero days rest (vs. Philly on Jan. 9), those three starters had played a combined average of only 27.7 minutes the night prior. The Magic are in need of a win, and they should find one against an exhausted Wizards team.
Pick: Magic -3.5
2. Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers (+8.5)
Maybe we're missing something here, but this line seems preposterously low. Of the Cavaliers' 11 losses in January (they also have a single win, on the road over the Lakers), only one has come by fewer than 16 points. Cleveland has been worse at home this month (-22.2 net rating) than it has on the road (-16.5), and Miami is an NBA-best 14-8 against the spread on the road this season, so there doesn't appear to be an angle there. And in the first and second meetings between these two teams this season, the Heat beat the Cavs by 24 and 25 points, respectively. Other than the suspicious line, there's just no reason to think Cleveland will keep this one within single digits.
Pick: Heat -8.5
3. Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies (-2)
Unsurprisingly, a young Sacramento team has taken its lumps during its current six-game road trip, having gone 1-3 SU and ATS in the four games it has played so far. But after two full days of rest off of their loss in Toronto on Tuesday, the Kings ought to be refreshed and ready for a game they absolutely should win against the reeling Grizzlies. Memphis has lost seven straight games (1-6 ATS) and 13 of its last 14 (2-12 ATS), and has a -12.0 net rating in January that ranks them above only the lowly Bulls and Cavaliers. Things have gotten so bad that the organization is openly acknowledging that franchise cornerstones Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are on the trade block. The Kings are 15-5 ATS this season against teams with losing records, and 12-4 ATS in games where the line is set between +3 and -3. Still with plenty to play for—they're only two games back from a playoff spot—they should treat tonight's contest like a must-win.
Pick: Kings +2
Overall Record: 112-96-4